Nora Rabins; I’m Feeling Sentimental

I’ve been wanting to share another peek into the mind of an artist, the driving force, and I have one today that is especially exciting for me. Nora Rabins brought her furniture to our New York space back in February, and it has all received such great reactions ever since.

Her School Desk Chairs turn the traditional learning environment, where students line up in rows, each unto their own, on its head. Now, it’s a piece in which to have a deep conversation, in which to interact.

Rabins’ Wing Chair is certainly a show stopper, calling out for a loft or a ballroom much like ours to be its forever home. With wings she made by hand, and attached to a found theater chair, it invites pretty much everyone who sees it to take a seat. The wings can fold up around you, cocooning the seated. It’s the kind of piece that makes a photo-op.

I’ve always loved the way Nora’s work is interactive. It really goes beyond being interactive – it begs people to play, to talk about it together, to talk while using it, together. That sense of togetherness is something I see in her current work, the work we carry, and, too, the work she used to make in college.

Because, beyond being an artist whose designs we’re proud to carry, Nora is a dear old friend of mine. We went to college together, at Smith College, an upstanding all women’s institution. We were both art majors, and tiptoed around each other through our first years thinking the other was too cool for us. When we realized that we’re both equally nerdy, silly, warm (and indecisive!) while on an internship in Washington, DC, we became fast friends and bonded over home-made nachos and Strangers With Candy episodes. Nora does a formidable impression of Gerri Blank.

I can’t say enough good things about Nora as a person, so I will stop trying.  And leave you all with a few words of her own.

Q: What’s inspiring your work these days?

A: These days I am looking forward to creating a new body of work inspired by isomporphic patterns; expressions of the same information encoded into different formats.  There is an underlying logic to the physical world whose beauty can approach expression of something less tangible.

Q: What is your greatest challenge as an artist?

A: My greatest challenge is that of not listening to my own negative evaluation.  The fear of failure can really put a damper on motivation…but if I can be my own worst enemy, maybe I can be my own hero, too.

Q: If you could collaborate with any artist living or dead, who would it be?

A: If I could collaborate with any artist, it would be my grandfather, whom I never met.  His name was Dick Briefer, and along with brilliantly creating the Frankenstein comic books, he was a painter and graphic artist.  In my mind, he represents the autonomous producers of the material culture with which we identify.

Q: What is the quality you are most attracted to in art?

A: I am most attracted to those qualities in art that I am in life, so I would have to say that the quality of art in which I am most interested is that of capturing life.

Q: What is your most prized possession?

A: My most prized possession:  My baby blanket.

And the place where Nora feels most in her element:

Until next time!



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